Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has hinted he may compromise over the length of a new contract for Robert Pires when they begin negotiations in January.
The 32-year-old's deal runs out in the summer, which means he is entitled to talk to other clubs from 1 January.
Arsenal have had a policy of only offering one-year contracts to players who are over the age of 30 but Pires wants to secure a two-year deal.
But Wenger said: "You can always have exceptions. He is an important player."
The Arsenal manager added: "He has always been a big part of our team.
"He is in and out at the moment but you expect that during this period and at that age sometimes as well you need a breather.
"In January, we will sit together and we will try to have a good chat."
Pires joined Arsenal from Marseille in July 2000 for £6m.